I’ve always loved fall, with its promise of relief from August’s sweltering temperatures and dense humidity (though this August being a welcome exception). When I was younger, I looked forward to school starting — partly because I was (am) a big nerd and partly because I believed in the transformative power of New School Clothes.
The right clothes purchased before the start of the school year, I thought, could lift one’s status in the treacherous caste system of junior and senior high school. It never worked, but I still look forward to trading shorts and sundresses for leather boots and long-sleeve shirts.
Now there’s a new shopping magazine to help spot the new trends and where to find them. Shop Etc., published by Hearst magazines, made its debut on newsstands this month. Shopping magazines are themselves a trend — Shop Etc. is the second shopping magazine to debut in the past year, coming on the heels of Cargo, a publication geared toward men. Lucky, the magazine that started it all, began publication about four years ago.
These aren’t stodgy product-ranking publications like Consumer Reports. They’ve distilled the fun, frothy parts of fashion magazines and tell the reader not only who has designed the latest styles, but where you can buy them.
Like Lucky, Shop Etc. offers info on clothes, shoes, accessories and beauty care items, but it also devotes a section to the home. Shop Etc. is great for those who are short on time or who like to be super-organized: Each section (fashion, home and beauty) has an index of the items featured. For instance, if you’re looking to see what’s new in rugs, the index directs you to the rug page. It’s a boon for people like me who see something they like but can never find it again.
At $1.99, Shop Etc. is a dollar less than Lucky. I picked up my copy of Shop Etc. at Wal-Mart, but the magazine is distributed at Brentano’s bookstores as well.
N For those of you who don’t have time to peruse the magazines, let me give you a rundown of what’s hot for the fall.
Tired of pointy-toed excess, designers are harking to the styles of the Greatest Generation: 1940s’ round-toe pumps, pencil skirts, big brooches and fur wraps. Coats with fur collars are big this year, too — I got mine at Oliver’s Antiques (1101 Burman Drive, 982-0064) in Jacksonville. (Oliver’s, owned by Sherry Oliver, also includes stock from defunct North Little Rock store/salon, Studio 73.)
I also spied the cutest pair of black round-toe pumps with hot pink stitching for an updated retro style (if that’s possible) at Target (12700 Chenal Parkway, 217-0200).
Other throwback items making appearances in the fashion rags are skinny cigarette pants (not in my lifetime), wide-legged and cuffed Katharine Hepburn-style trousers (much better) and little platform-propping kitten heels.